Welder jailed for beating ex-girlfriend to death
A welder will spend at least 17 years in jail after savagely beating his ex-girlfriend to death in her own home.
Luke George Jones, 33, flew into a jealous rage after finding out that former partner Natasha Bradbury had slept with another man after becoming single again.
Just days before her death, he bombarded the 27-year-old with texts and calls begging her to take him back.
Miss Bradbury died after suffering massive internal injuries - with paramedics arriving at her home in west Wales and finding the two-bedroomed property smashed up as well as blood smeared over bannisters and walls.
Jones tried to lay the blame on his ex saying she had trashed her flat - before claiming he acted in self defence after the petite mother-of-one, who weighed less than seven stones, had attacked him first.
But Swansea Crown Court heard that Jones had previously seen a doctor about attending anger management classes and that emergency services found him unusually calm after arriving at the scene.
Jurors took little more than a day before reaching a guilty verdict on the charge of murder.
After sentencing Jones to life in prison with a minimum of 17 years, Judge Keith Thomas said the defendant had "carried out a brutal, sustained and severe attack".
The two-week trial heard that Miss Bradbury ended her three-year relationship after "possessive and jealous" Jones "threw a strop" when she decided to see a female friend rather than spend the night with him.
Jones, from Milford Haven, later sent dozens of messages to Miss Bradbury as well as frequent attempts to call her.
At one point between 4am and 5am on February 20, Miss Bradbury had 28 missed calls from her former boyfriend.
Speaking of the messages and calls, prosecuting counsel Paul Lewis QC said in his opening: "At times he is expressing his love, other times distress, sometimes jealous. You may think he was trying to assert emotional pressure on her."
Miss Bradbury later messaged Jones saying she had slept with someone else after becoming a free woman again.
Then around 11.30pm on February 22, neighbours of Ms Bradbury said they heard what sounded like her flat being "smashed up" everything went quiet.
Around three hours later, Jones rang 999 and told the operator he had found Miss Bradbury unconscious in her flat after he had woken up.
Mr Lewis said: "He immediately suggested that Natasha Bradbury was responsible for the damage (in the flat) and she had fallen over before he woke up to find her not breathing.
"He largely answered no questions when later interviewed by the police - but did provide prepared statements in which he said he had used no violence at all.
"The details he provided to the police were a pack of lies.
"It was intended by him to avoid the consequences what he did to Miss Bradbury."
Jurors were later shown several photographs of the inside of Miss Bradbury's flat in Imperial Court, High Street, Haverfordwest.
Damage included a smashed TV, broken glass everywhere and bloodstains going up bannisters, on furniture and walls.
Forensic scientists later discovered the blood belonged to Jones and not the deceased - with Miss Bradbury suffering extensive internal injuries to her head and chest.
Dyfed Powys Police Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Hughes welcomed news of the verdict.
However, he added: "It will be of little comfort to the family and friends of Natasha Bradbury, and our sympathies remain with them, in particular her young son, James.
"But I hope the conviction will in some way help them to come to terms with the horrifying events with the knowledge that the offender has been brought to justice."
Jones, of Hakin, Milford Haven, will be 50 before he will be eligible for parole.
And even if freed, he could be recalled to prison at any time of his life if he breaks any conditions of his licence.